Devon’s Instrumented Hive project

Ian has been helping rebuild the website for the Instrumented hive project, based in in North Devon. It’s a group of enthusiastic and experienced bee keepers with a special interest in electronics!

The group organises beekeeping courses, hosts regular bee-keeping meetings, and is particularly interested in studying bees in ‘instrumented hives’.

The IHP hopes to unravel some of the intracacies of bees, such as the sounds and comb vibrations (particularly as pre-swarm indicators), how comb structure varies in feral or near-feral situations, how to control varroa mites with a biotech rather than a bio-chemical approach.

The IHP maintains colonies and facilities in special apiaries in North Devon and Tyne & Wear. Some of the colonies are housed in bee houses, with the flagship cabin (BeeLab One) capable of housing dozens of special hives together with recording and analysis equipment. The group has growing links with researchers studying eusocial insects, entomology and evolutionary biology. Their two key advisors are:

Dr Peter McGregor, Cornwall College (previously Copenhagen University) – senior scientific advisor
Dr Seirian Sumner, Institute of Zoology, London – entomology advisor

If you’re interested to know more, check out the Instrumented Hive Project website!